UNWIND YOUR MIND
Artist Lucy Barker presents a new body of work entitled Brain Child
Channel the child within at Gosford Regional Gallery's latest exhibition entitled Brain Child. Featuring the work of Lucy Barker, Brain Child is on show in The Foyer Gallery of Gosford Regional Gallery from 14 March - 15 April 2009.
This deceptively light-hearted body of work centers on the concept of memories and the critical affect early childhood experience has on brain development and future personalities. "Memories are building blocks forming the architecture of our lives," says Barker of the inspiration behind the work.
The 35 Brain Child sculptures have been painstakingly constructed using thousands of Cuisenaire Rods: brightly coloured wooden counting blocks that hark back to Barker's own childhood in 70s Australia, she comments that "Working in coloured blocks is like talking in a language we all understand."
The iconic counting rods, originally from 50s Europe and sourced in a variety of ingenious ways, are engaged in complicated structures and manipulated in eye-popping proportion. From large balustrades to tiny counting cubes, the blocks represent neural connections and DNA formations, imbuing a serious concept with her characteristic air of playfulness and intrigue.
"Lucy is an emerging artist fast establishing her reputation as a master of conceptual iconography."
John Buckley, John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne
Last year, Barker was short listed for the prestigious Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, Judged by Edmund Capon, Director of AGNSW with her work 'PlaySchool - BrainChild'. In 2005 she was runner up in the Bonds Essence of Australia design competition, the same year holding a sell out show at Sherman Artbox. In 2003 her quirky sense of humour and scale won her the Willoughby Art Prize. Recently her work has appeared in Sculpture in the Vines, the local 5 Lands Walk Festival, Matchbox Projects and at the Sydney Opera House.
With a background in traditional oil painting (studied in Florence, Italy), advertising (art direction and copywriting) as well as design, Barker's work has taken some interesting turns. In 2001 she won the Swedish Match Art Strikes Back Competition with a set of 12 collector edition Redhead Matchboxes showcasing recalcitrant Redhead hairdo images. The series, entitled You Can Always Recognise an Old Flame, was on sale nationally, gracing the covers of Redhead Matchboxes and available as limited edition prints at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
Find out what she has in store for us next at Brain Child, running from 14 March - 15 April 2009 in The Foyer Gallery of Gosford Regional Gallery. Brainchild opens 2 - 4pm on Saturday, 14 March, all are invited. www.lucybarker.com.au